Information submitted
The monthly Van Wert Economic Development Advisory Group met on Friday in the Community Room at Vantage Career Center. The meeting with over 40 participants heard from a guest speaker, Mark Barbash, the Chief Operating Officer at Finance Fund, a statewide non-profit financial intermediary committed to bridging resources for low-to moderate-income communities. His message to the group pertaining to “Economic Development Readiness” was drawn from his past 30 years of economic development experience where he served as Chief Economic Development Officer for the Ohio Department of Development, Development Director for Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, Executive Director for the Columbus Countywide Development Corporation and the Vice President for the National Development Council in Washington DC.
The meeting invitation was extended to local entities responsible for economic and community development including the Van Wert Chamber, Main Street Van Wert, Convention and Visitor Bureau, Business Development Corporation, Community Improvement Corporation, Van Wert City Council and the office of the Van Wert County Commissioners.
The extended meeting included a roundtable discussion facilitated by the speaker surrounding the topic of Community Fiscal Health, Quality of Life and Readiness to Compete in the marketplace. The outcome of the roundtable was that the group would commit to a follow up discussion in an effort to create a more comprehensive approach to community and economic development.